Archives: November 2007

Cell Phone Didn’t Kill Quarry Worker

In a startling twist to yesterday’s story about a South Korean worker who was killed by his cell phone, it turns out that the death is now being blamed on his co-worker, who confessed to making up the story after striking the victim with a drilling vehicle, South Korean police said Friday, The Associated Press reports.

Apparently what happened is that initial reports blamed the melted phone and battery in the dead man’s shirt pocket. But “after preliminary autopsy results suggested damage to Seo’s internal organs was too great to be caused by a cell phone explosion,” police then questioned the colleague who first reported Seo’s death.

That man later confessed to the accidental killing, leading us to wonder exactly what he did next to melt the phone and disguise the accident. The report only said that the man moved the drilling vehicle away from the scene, but didn’t go into any further details.

Police: Colleague, not cell phone, killed man [AP via CNN]

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Half the Planet Now Uses Cell Phones–Sort Of

Worldwide mobile telephone subscriptions reached 3.3 billion–equivalent to half the global population–on Thursday, 26 years after the first cellular network was launched, research firm Informa said in a new Reuters article.

The past several years have seen particularly strong growth in both India and China, the two largest potential markets in the world.

But the article also issued a note of caution: “although mobile subscriptions have reached the equivalent of 50 percent of the population, this does not mean that half the people in the world now have a mobile phone.” Informa said 59 countries have mobile penetration of over 100 percent, meaning that some owners probably have more than one phone.

Worldwide Cell Phone Use Reaches 50 Percent [Reuters]

Project Management Made Easy

Wanna get out of work early? New Web-based project management tool 5pm says they can make it happen. While we highly doubt your boss will let you escape before quitting time, the online system can help you be more efficient. Read more

MTV Looks to Expand Mobile Social Network

mtv.jpgMTV Networks is eyeing an expansion of its myMTV mobile video social network to other countries beyond Japan, said Mika Salmi, MTV’s president for global digital media, according to a Reuters report:

“While media companies such as MTV are looking to win new audiences among cell phone users, mobile phone providers are banking on advanced services like mobile video and music to maintain growth even as voice call prices fall,” the article said.

This comes after earlier mobile efforts this year from the venerable music cable channel, including a partnership with Cisco on Mobile, a new mobile music service, and a separate Latino mobile channel.

MTV eyeing expanding myMTV beyond Japan [Reuters]

Yahoo, AOL Web Radio To Go Silent?

Yahoo and AOL may shut down their Internet radio services after being hit with a 38 percent increase in royalties as a result of the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision in March, according to a Mediaweek report. This comes as consumers watch to see which streaming Internet radio services–including popular ones like, Slacker, and Pandora, some of which are offering mobile services–are affected by the rate changes.

“We’re not going to stay in the business if the cost is more than we make long term,” Ian Rogers, general manager at Yahoo’s music unit, said in a Bloomberg report.

Yahoo and AOL stopped directing users to their radio sites when SoundExchange began collecting the higher fees in July, the Mediaweek report said.

Yahoo, AOL May Silence Web Radio [Mediaweek]

Giuliani Campaign Launches Social Network

Yesterday, the Rudy Giuliani campaign launched a brand new social network to encourage supporters to recruit others. The tool is definitely well designed. Personally I think it looks a lot better then the Barack Obama counterpart which I’ve been receiving spam from since I registered to test out when it first launched. I’m a bit skeptical of the impact of some of these social networks. Given the ubiquity of social networks like Facebook and MySpace, why not build a Facebook application and invest in advertising to increase exposure. Facebook’s advertising system even enables detailed targeting based on political views.

I’m not quite sure why the Giuliani campaign waited to release this so late. It is definitely a great time to get started though given the backlash he has been facing from quoting inaccurate statistics. Grassroots campaigns are always a great model for gaining support especially during moments of fierce opposition. The social network that the Giuliani team has created tracks your individual impact on a countrywide basis.

Hard-working volunteers are also rewarded for inviting users as well as in person volunteering. According to the site overview, “As your Personal ImpactTM increases, the campaign staff is informed of your progress. Top volunteers are also recognized among their peers through Team Rudy. Your rank is a combination of your personal work and that of the volunteer team you recruit from your family and friends.”

I hadn’t realized the impact that these grassroots site actually have in the scheme of things but after looking at’s statistics of, I have to say that I’m impressed. The Barack Obama social network is pulling in close to 300,000 users a month. It would be great if Giuliani experienced the same sort of response. Do you think political social networks are a useful campaign tool?

Team Rudy Screenshot

Why Hasn't Seesmic Launched Yet?

Are you trying to get onto Seesmic? A lot of people have been trying to get on to the site and invite codes are a hot commodity nowadays. Well if you want to know what has been taking them so long, look no further then a video that they made explaining what has been taking so long. It’s pretty entertaining!

Social Media Club D.C.

In the spirit of Social Media, Rana Sobhany will be live streaming tonight’s Social Media Club at Viget Labs. The topic of discussion appears to be Twitter. I won’t be able to make it but I’ll be tweeting my activities via my twitter account. I am including the live stream below. The event starts at 6:30. I will be posting a recording of the event afterwards.

If you want to learn more about Jim Long, the speaker at the event, you can go check out his blog Verge New Media.

Vodafone Backs Mobile Ad Startup

Cell phone ad vendor Amobee Media Systems just received a minority investment from wireless UK-based giant Vodafone, MediaPost reports, adding yet another player to the confusing, multi-layered mobile advertising landscape.

Amobee launched its first consumer trial last year, and has since “partnered with carriers including Vodafone in Greece, the Czech Republic and Spain. The company’s software delivers ads to a range of mobile content and formats including the mobile Web, WAP, games and messaging,” according to the article.

Vodafone Invests in Startup Mobile Ad Platform [MediaPost]